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SAHM vs Daycare

February 2, 2007

This is my latest internal debate. It really started a few months ago when one of the women in my sorority alumni group was talking about her job. She works for a day care center and spends 4 hours a week lesson planning. She works in the infant room. She plans LESSONS for INFANTS. She spends FOUR HOURS of her WEEKEND planning LESSONS FOR INFANTS. What?!?

I don’t collect a salary for taking care of my girls full time. But I made the decision to stay home with them because I felt that it was important that a parent be at home raising them. Would they be better in day care? Would they be learning more? Developing better? Getting more attention? Day care workers don’t do laundry or wash dishes or vacuum. They spend time with the kids, right? And even though day care costs about an arm and both legs, if I was working we’d have extra money.

But, the other day it became clear for me. A friend of mine commented that her DD’s first word was dog and that the day care told her. I realized that I never want some stranger to tell me that my child hit some amazing and wonderful milestone. Their first year flew by so fast and they change so quickly. I got to be there when they rolled over for the first time. I was the one to encourage them to sit up. I watched them take their first steps and heard them babble “ma-ma-ma” for the first time. It might be selfish but I want to be there for these things. And, I’m hoping that someday they’ll appreciate that I was here just like I’m glad my mom stayed home with me.

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